As Krause notes, fewer than 30 lines of code can be used to make a very convincing phishing dialog. That's the case put forward by app developer Felix Krause, who has written a proof-of-concept breakdown of malicious lookalike pop-ups.
iOS asks users for their passwords for many reasons, but the most common ones are recently installed iOS operating system updates or iOS apps that are stuck during installation.
'However, those popups are not only shown on the lock screen, and the home screen, but also inside random apps, e.g. when they want to access iCloud, GameCenter or In-App-Purchases.
He says it's possible for criminals to programme apps to run certain code only after Apple has approved it for a spot in the App Store, and that the scheme works because iOS has "trained" users to automatically enter their details without questioning a popup's legitimacy.
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"This could easily be abused by any app..." That being said, it should be pointed out that this phishing method isn't exactly new and that Apple usually checks apps for this before being accepted to the App Store. So, what can you do to protect yourself now?
Even if you have two-factor authentication (2FA), what's to stop an app developer from asking for your 2FA key as well? More likely to happen is his suggestion that Apple change the design of its system prompts to include an extra icon that indicates it's an official request.
But what if that pop-up hasn't come from Apple, and has instead been created to look like an official request in an attempt by hackers to steal your credentials?